Thanks to the pioneering work of cultural French theorists such as Henri Lefebvre, Pierre Bourdieu, Marc Augé and, perhaps less systematically, Michel Foucault, geography has been growingly understood as a social construct springing from the convergence of what people perceive as their living environment, its material characteristics and physical boundaries, and the power relations that regulate human behaviour both within and without such confines. Since the end of the twentieth century, after the so-called ‘geographical turn’, space has been considered as a human artefact, a complex set of ‘places’ and ‘non-places’, shiftily related to each other and never fixed in time nor untouched by ideology. Today these ideas powerfully retain their thought-provoking capacity, and the more so in times of pandemic, when power- and border-related issues are dramatically brought to the fore with respect to nations, territories, communities, homes, and even personal spaces and perimeters. And one cannot help thinking with horror and dismay at the devastating war that, as we write this Introduction, is being fought in Ukraine, in the heart of Europe, because of throwback imperialistic geopolitical reasons. Taking William Shakespeare’s plays as a privileged testing ground, our focus in this special issue of Cahiers Élisabéthains accordingly concentrates on how human identities, actions, and spaces are (re)fashioned whenever power relations are established, foregrounded, or challenged, and borders are fixed, trespassed, or negotiated. As is well known, early modern Europe suffered a series of disruptive events – political and religious, but also epistemological – which, as history reports, resulted in a remapping of borders and readjusting of power relationships. Such repositionings problematically involved the notion of subjectivity and ‘self-fashioning’ by redefining the very limits (borders) of the place human beings held in a changing social, symbolic, and ontological hierarchy.

Pennacchia, M. (2022). Shakespeare and European Geographies. Borders and Power: Introduction. CAHIERS ELISABÉTHAINS, 108(1), 10-20.

Shakespeare and European Geographies. Borders and Power: Introduction

maddalena pennacchia
2022-01-01

Abstract

Thanks to the pioneering work of cultural French theorists such as Henri Lefebvre, Pierre Bourdieu, Marc Augé and, perhaps less systematically, Michel Foucault, geography has been growingly understood as a social construct springing from the convergence of what people perceive as their living environment, its material characteristics and physical boundaries, and the power relations that regulate human behaviour both within and without such confines. Since the end of the twentieth century, after the so-called ‘geographical turn’, space has been considered as a human artefact, a complex set of ‘places’ and ‘non-places’, shiftily related to each other and never fixed in time nor untouched by ideology. Today these ideas powerfully retain their thought-provoking capacity, and the more so in times of pandemic, when power- and border-related issues are dramatically brought to the fore with respect to nations, territories, communities, homes, and even personal spaces and perimeters. And one cannot help thinking with horror and dismay at the devastating war that, as we write this Introduction, is being fought in Ukraine, in the heart of Europe, because of throwback imperialistic geopolitical reasons. Taking William Shakespeare’s plays as a privileged testing ground, our focus in this special issue of Cahiers Élisabéthains accordingly concentrates on how human identities, actions, and spaces are (re)fashioned whenever power relations are established, foregrounded, or challenged, and borders are fixed, trespassed, or negotiated. As is well known, early modern Europe suffered a series of disruptive events – political and religious, but also epistemological – which, as history reports, resulted in a remapping of borders and readjusting of power relationships. Such repositionings problematically involved the notion of subjectivity and ‘self-fashioning’ by redefining the very limits (borders) of the place human beings held in a changing social, symbolic, and ontological hierarchy.
2022
Pennacchia, M. (2022). Shakespeare and European Geographies. Borders and Power: Introduction. CAHIERS ELISABÉTHAINS, 108(1), 10-20.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11590/426191
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